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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 February 2010) . . Page.. 238 ..


proper process, fairness, equity and accountability in the expenditure of public funds. So the government cannot agree with Ms Bresnan that the government ought, simply and without any process, without any competitive process, without analysis outside of the budget cycle, agree that one particular community organisation or one faith-based group is deserving of government funding.

I think that point needs to be reinforced. If the government took a decision to provide funding to some other group without a process, without proper analysis, without the opportunity for scrutiny of whether the proposals are worth while, I am sure that the government would be criticised. But this evening Ms Bresnan is moving a motion telling the government—

Ms Bresnan: I spoke to the Chief Minister about this.

MR CORBELL: I know she does not like it, but there is a double standard being applied here by the Greens. They are saying in this case, because Ms Bresnan thinks it is a good idea, that the money should simply be provided. The government does not agree. There should be a process that is fair to all groups, including the Islamic centre, and that is what the government is proposing to do and that is why the government has moved the amendment that I have had circulated to members.

Over the course of today, the government attempted to get some idea of what it would cost to catalogue a collection of the size of this very important collection. The advice that we have received is that the going rate is about $27 per item to be catalogued or about $810,000 for the whole collection, nearly $1 million that Ms Bresnan simply wants the government to gift to the organisation without any process, without any scrutiny, without any opportunity for other groups, who may have similar tasks that they want to see undertaken, getting an opportunity to get access to those funds. And that is clearly something that the government cannot agree to.

Let us put that in some context. That is about two-thirds of the cost of the bulky waste trial which the Greens are also pressuring the government on. I think we need to be clear exactly what it is that Ms Bresnan is asking of the government this evening. To provide some further examples, it is the cost of two organic waste trials for multi-unit developments and it is the entire cost of the Well Station Drive traffic lights.

As I have outlined, the government believes that there are several legitimate and appropriate avenues that exist for the Islamic centre to pursue funding for this work. And the government would be delighted if the centre succeeded in securing these funds through these competitive, fair and transparent processes.

There are, of course, other avenues of approach as well. Many dozens of community organisations make submissions to the ACT budget process each year and these submissions are, of course, weighed and balanced against competing claims as the budget is finalised.

The government will continue to adopt what we believe is a fair approach in relation to this matter. We recognise the importance of the work. We recognise the desirability of properly cataloguing the collection and promoting its availability to Muslims and


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